May 11, 2010
No clouds envelop Pahto this morning. The Cascade Range, from Toppenish Ridge in the south to beyond Ahtanum in the north, is clear with white peaks and ridges against a blue sky. One long and drawn out cloud floats between the farm and the range. Pahto has a cap of a cloud hovering above it—a mountains Kippah, promising more than can be seen.
How long will we have clear skies and should the first cutting of alfalfa begin today? We need at least ten days of good clear weather between cutting and baling and the mountains Kippah seems a good omen. That and online weather forecasts keep the chance of rain low during the next ten days. The alfalfa could grow longer and we could wait for a better forecast, but weeds are on the far end of their bloom. Since we don’t use herbicides in the hay fields, we try to cut at the end of bloom and before seeds ripen, with the hope weed seeds lessen with each cutting. Since weed going to seed and alfalfa reaching its full tonnage seldom coincide in the spring, we’re thinking of cutting in favor of fewer seeds than greater tonnage.
Cutting depends on the tractor and swather though. With both pieces of equipment being new to us this season, I don’t know exactly what to expect other than the unexpected. Air and hydraulic filters were replaced in the JD 4230 tractor yesterday. Both the tractor and swather were greased and oiled. The hydraulic reservoirs on each need filling this morning.
Sun, blue sky, and a Kippah to remind there is much good, let’s see where that takes us today.
© David B. Bell 2010